Nervosa – “Downfall Of Mankind” (Napalm Records)
Now world renowned thanks to the legendary success of Sepultura, Brazil’s thrash scene has never looked back and now comes the next generation like Nervosa! Breaking ground as did the Cavalera brothers, Nervosa is an all female thrash trio whose power has been unleashed on 2 prior albums and now is set for maximum burn on “Downfall Of Mankind”. As well as competing with their fearsome male counterparts in speed and aggression, there’s also the equality factor in what must be one of the most macho societies in the world but hey, being born and bred metallers, Nervosa have just taken it in their stride and today become a name in the underground, with João Gordo (Ratos de Porão), Rodrigo Oliveira (Korzus) and Michael Gilbert (Flotsam & Jetsam) guesting on this release. Well respected for their energetic shows and relentless touring, now comes all important album number 3 and what can I say, but the experience these ladies have gained has set them on what must be their best album to date! From working with Martin Furia (Destruction, Flotsam & Jetsam) who joined Nervosa as their touring sound engineer and has captured their sound beautifully, to the excellent material that culls the best hooks, catches and grooves, Nervosa have gone for the throat on this one, which is more than just thrash metal but also incorporates death and extreme metal elements to keep the 14 songs charged with the intensity and never letting up! Equally, these ladies don’t just draw from homegrown inspirations but equally from Europe and America, thus adding greater horizons to their style. One thing that is definitely Brazilian though is their rabid socio political stance, reflected in their fierce lyrics on social injustice, poverty and corruption – certainly no shortage of that in San Paolo! With new drummer Luana Dametto admirably bringing her talents for blast beating and precision percussion, Nervosa’s circle is complete in what must be their tightest unit to date, adding to bassist Fernanda Lira’s screams and growls, while founder guitarist Prika Amaral is nothing short of a tornado, machine gunning out riffs, licks, solos and just about anything else whether its aggressive or something more sophisticated. From the whirring ‘Fear, Violence and Massacre’ with its fast kick beats, cat screams and dervish riffola, its pretty clear that Nervosa’s style is very much aimed at the live front with lots of singalong choruses and plenty of air punching shout outs. Even slowed down like on the balls bass heaviness of ‘Cultura do Estupro’ with Gordo adding his roars and dual male vocal as this driller killa punk thrash piece speeds up, the intensity never lets up and thanks to Furia’s all important production, you actually could be listening to the band live! Nervosa truly live up to their name, but just to catch you out one last time, check out ‘Selfish Battle’, a jaw dropping moment that answers the question of what if Nervosa was a heavy metal band – well even that they do commendably well!!